Sustainability Appraisal (SA) is a tool that helps to ensure that the spatial planning process and its policies and proposals make a positive contribution to sustainable development. It involves developing a sound understanding of the environmental, social and economic characteristics and priorities of the area, and then ensuring that they are integrated into planning policies. The SA of the Winchester Development Framework documents also incorporates the requirements of Strategic Environmental Assessment, a process that considers the effects of development planning on the environment.
The SA is an iterative process undertaken alongside the development of Development Plan Documents. A Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report was published for public consultation and agreed by the Council's Cabinet (LDF) Committee in 2007. This framework informed the development of a Sustainability Appraisal framework against which emerging options, policies and proposals are assessed in a consistent and methodical manner.
The framework has been used to asses the options, policies and proposals of the Local Plan Part 1 - Joint Core Strategy and the emerging Local Plan Part 2 - Development Management and Allocations Document. The results of each stage of the appraisal inform the preparation of the policies of the next stage to ensure that they promoted sustainable development through the integration of environmental, social and economic considerations.Where appropriate, recommendations for enhancement and mitigation are made.